Geographical areas of administration. In the OT, provinces of the Persian Empire are mentioned in Ezra (7: 21) and the book of Esther reports that each of the Persian provinces had its own governor (Esther 1: 22). Under the Romans provinces were created from NW Africa to Mesopotamia. Senatorial Roman provinces mentioned in the NT (created between 146 BCE and 27 BCE) are: Macedonia, Achaia, Asia, Bithynia, Crete and Cyrenaica, Cyprus. Imperial provinces are: Syria (which included the sub‐province of Judaea), Galatia, Pamphylia and Lycia, Egypt and Cappodocia. The former group were governed by consuls, chosen by lot; the latter by lieutenants of the emperor himself and were regions where disorders were anticipated, and these were created between 64 BCE and 30 BCE.
Land taxes were collected by officials appointed by the emperor, customs taxes by publicani, who had bought the franchises and who collected the maximum they could squeeze from travellers.